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There's themes enough in Caledonian story,
Itiritten Would show the tragic muse in a' her glory.
TO A GENTLEMAN WHO HAD SEYT THE POET A Is there no daring bard will rise, and tell NEWSPAPER, AND OFFERED TO CONTINUE IT How glorious Wallace stood, how hapless
FREE OF EXPENSE, fell ?
KIND Sir, I've read your paper through, Where are the muses fled that could produce And, faith, to me 'twas really new! A drama worthy o' the name o' Bruce How here, even here, he first unsheath'd the This mony a day I've grain'd and gaunted,
How guessed ye, Sir, what maist I wanted ? sword,
To ken what French mischief was brewin', 'Gainst mighty England and her guilty lord;
Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin'; And after mony a bloody, deathless doing, Wrench'd his dear country from the jaws of If Venus yet had got his nose off;
That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph, ruin ?
Or how the collieshangie works Oh for a Shakspeare or an Otway scene
Atween the Russians and the Turks
; To draw the lovely, hapless Scottish Queen!
Or if the Swede, before he halt, Vain all th' omnipotence of female charms 'Gainst headlong, ruthless, mad Rebellion's ' If Denmark, ony body spak o't;
Would play anither Charles the Twalt:
Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't; She fell, but fell with spirit truly Roman,
How cut-throat Prussian blades were To glut the vengeance of a rival woman :
hingin; A woman-tho' the phrase may seem un
How libbet Italy was singin'; civil
If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss,
Were sayin' or takin' aught amiss,
How royal George, the Lord leuk o'er A Douglas followed to the martial strife,
him! Perhaps if bowls row right, and Right suc
Was managing St Stephen's quorum; ceeds,
If sleekit Chatham Will was livin', Ye yet may follow where a Douglas leads !
Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in;
How daddie Burke the plea was cookin', As ye hae generous done, if a' the land Would take the muses servants by the If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukin’; hand;
How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd,
yet were tax'd ; Not only hear, but patronise, befriend them, Or if bare And where ye justly can commend, commend The news o' princes, dukes, and earls,
Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera girls; them; And aiblins when they winna stand the test, If that daft buckie, Geordie Wales,
Was threshin' still at hizzies tails; Wink hard and say the folks hae done their
Or if he was grown oughtlins douser, best! Would a' the land do this, then I'll be cau
And na o' perfect kintra cooser.
A' this and majr I never heard of,
So gratefu', back your news I send you,
And pray, a' guid things may attend you ! And warsle Time, and lay him on his back! For us and for our stage should ony spier,
Ellisland, Monday Morning. Wha's aught thae chiels maks a' this bus
tle here? My best ley foremost, I'll set up my brow, We have the honour to belong to you!
Peg Ilirholsan. (245) We're your ain bairns, e'en guide us as ye Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare,
like, But like gude mithers, shore before you But now she's floating down the Nith,
As ever trod on airn;
And past the mouth o' Cairn.
Aud wanting e'en the skin.
Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare, The martial phosphorus is taught to flow, And ance she bore a priest;
She kneads the lumpish philosophic dough, But now she's floating down the Nith, Then marks th' unyielding mass with grave For Solway fish a feast.
designs, Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare,
aw, physic, politics, and deep divines : And the priest he rode her sair ;
Last, she sublimes th' Aurora of the poles, And much oppressed and bruis'd she was,
The flashing elements of female souls.
The order'd system fair before her stood,
Half-jest, she cried one curious labour more.
Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatuus matter,
Such as the slightest breath of air might Thou bed, in which I first began
scatter; To be that various creature--Man!
With arch alacrity and conscious glee And when again the Fates decree,
(Nature may have her whim as well as we, The place where I must cease to be;
Her llogarth-art perhaps she meant to showit) When sickness comes, to whom I fly,
She forms the thing, and christenis it--a poet, To soothe my pain, or close mine eye;
Creature, tho'oft the prey of care and sorrow, When cares surround me, where I weep,
When blest to-day, unmindful of to-morrow, Or lose them all in balmy sleep;
A being form’d t'amuse his graver friends, When sore with labour, whom I court,
Admir'd and prais'd-and there the homage And to thy downy breast resort -
ends: Where, too ecstatic joys I find,
A mortal quite unfit for fortune's strife, When deigns my Delia to be kind
Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life; And full of love, in all her charmis,
Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches give, Thou giv'st the fair one to my arms.
Yet haply wanting wherewithal to live; The centre thou—where grief and pain,
Longing to wipe each tear, to heal each groan, , Disease and rest, alternate reign.
Yet frequently unhecded in his own.
But honest Nature is not quite a Turk,
She laugh’dat first, then felt for her poor work. As
sages dictate-churchmen preach; Pitying the propless climber of mankind, And man, convinced by thee alone,
She cast about a standard tree to find; This great important truth shall own: And, to support his helpless woodbine state, “That thin partitions do diviile
Attach'd him to the generous truly great, The bounds where good and ill reside ;
A title, and the only one I claim, That nought is perfect here below;
To lay strong hold for help on bounteous But Bliss still bordering upon woe.” (247) Graham.
Pity tlie tuneful muses' hapless train,
Weak, timid landsmen on life's stormy main! First Epistle to Jr. Gralanı Their hearts no selfish stern absorbent stuff,
That never gives--tho'humbly takes enough;
The little fate allows, they share as soon, WHEN Nature her great masterpiece designed, Uulike sage proverb'd wisdom's hard-wrung And fram'd her last best work, the human boon. mind,
The world were blest did bliss on them depend, Her eye intent on all the mazy plan,
Ah, tliat “the friendly e'er should want a She formed of various parts the various man. friend!” Then first she calls the useful many forth; Let prudence number o'er each sturdy son, Plain plodding industry, and sober worth: Who life and wisdom at one race begun, Thence peasants, farmers, native sons of Who feel by reason and who give by rule, earth,
[birth: (Instinct's a brute, and sentiment a fool!) And merchandise' whole genus take their Who make poor will do wait upon I shouldEach prudent cit a warm existence finds, We own they're prudent, but who feels And all mechanics' many-apron'd kinds.
they're good! Some other rarer sorts are wanted yet, Ye wise ones, hence! ye hurt the social eye! The lead and buoy are needful to the net; God's image rudely etch'd on base alloy! "The caput mortuum of gross desires (squires ; But, come, ye who the godlike pleasure know, Makes & material for mere knights and Heaven's attribute distinguished--to bestow!
Whose arms of love would grasp the human And black Joan, frae Crichton Peel,
(grace; O'gipsy kith and kin-
They met upon a day,
And mony a knight, and mony a laird,
Their errand fain would gae.
O mony a knight and many a laird,
[flows, But nae ane could their fancy please,
And he wad do their errands weel,
And meikle he wad say, But grovelling on the earth the carol ends.
And ilka ane at Lon'on court
Would bid to him guid day.
Then next came in a sodger youth (250), They persecute you all your future days!
And spak wi' modest grace,
If sae their pleasure was.
Nor meikle speech pretend,
But he wad hecht an honest heart,
Now, wham to choose, and wham refuse,
At strife their carlines fell!
And some would please themsel.
And she spak up wi' pride,
And she wad send the sodger youth,
Whatever might betide.
She didna care a pin ; To send a lad to Lon'on town,
But she wad send the sodger youth To bring them tidings hame.
To greet his eldest son. (252) Nor only hring them tidings hame,
Then up sprang Bess o' Annandale, But do their errands there,
And a deadly aith she's ta’en, And aiblins gowd and honour baith
That she wad vote the border knight,
Though she should vote her lane.
And fools o change are fain;
But I hae tried the border knight, A carline auld and teugh.
And I'll try him yet again. And blinkin' Bess o’Annandale,
Says black Joan frae Crichton Peel, That dwelt near Solwayside,
A carline stoor and grim, And whisky Jean, that took her gill, The auld guidman, and the young guidman, In Galloway sae wide.
For me may sink or swim ;
For fools will freat o' right or wrang,
While knaves laugh them to scorn;
Then whisky Jean spak owre her drink,
Ye weel ken, kimmers a',
His back's been at the wa';
Is now a fremit wight:
I'll send the border knight.
And wrinkled was her brow,
Her auld Scots bluid was true;
I set as light by them;
Wham I like best at hame.
O for a throat like huge Mons-meg (254),
Beneath Drumlanrig's banners;
To win immortal honours. M'Murdo and his lovely spouse, (Th' enamour'd laurels kiss her brows,)
Led on the loves and graces ; She won each gaping burgess' heart While he, all conquering, play'd his part
Among their wives and lasses. Craigdarroch led a light-arm'd corps ; Tropes, metaphors, and figures pour,
Like Hecla streaming thunder; Glenriddel, skill'd in rusty coins, Blew up each Tory's dark designs,
And bar'd the treason under.
In either wing two champions fought,
The wildest savage Tory.
With Cyclopean fury.
Sae how this weighty plea may end,
Nae mortal wight can tell: God grant the king and ilka man
May look weel to himsel.
Miller brought up the artillery ranks, The many pounders of the Banks,
Resistless desolation ; While Maxwelton, that baron bold, Mid Lawson's port entrench'd his hold,
And threaten'd worse damnation.
Second Epistle ta Jtlr. Graham,
OF FINTRY. (253).
Are ye as idle's I am ?
And ye shall see me try him.
Of princes and their darlings ; And bent on winning borough towns, Came shaking hands wi' wabster louns,
And kissing barefit carlins.
To these, what Tory hosts oppos’d; With these, what Tory warriors clos'd,
Surpasses my descriving : Squadrons extended long and large, With furious speed rush'd to the charge,
Like raging devils driving.
What verse can sing, what prose narrate, The butcher deeds of bloody fate
Amid this mighty tulzie ? Grim horror grinn'd; pale terror roar'd As murther at his thrapple shor'd;
And hell mixt in the brulzie !
Combustion through our boroughs rode Whistling his roaring pack abroad,
Of mad, unmuzzled lions ; As Queensberry buff and blue unfuri'd, And Westerha' and Hopeton hurld
To every Whig defiance.
As Highland crags, by thunder cleft, When lightnings tire the stormy lift,
Hurl down wi' crashing rattle; As flames amang a hundred woods; As headlong foain a hundred floods ;
Such is the rage of battle.
But Queensberry, cautious, left the war, The unmanner'd dust might soil his star,
Besides, he hated bleeding; But left behind him heroes bright, Heroes in Cæsarean fight
Or Ciceronian pleading.
The stubborn Tories dare to die
; As soon the rooted oaks would fly,
Before th' approaching fellers; The Whigs come on like ocean's roar When all his wintry billows pour
Against the Buchan Bullers. (255)
CAPTAIN GROSE'S PEREGRINATIONS.
Lo, from the shares of death's deep night, If in your bounds ye chance to light
Upon a fine, fat fodgel wight,
Ostature short, but genius bright,
That's he, mark weel The Magna Charta flag unfurls,
And wow! he has an unco slight All deadly gules its bearing.
O'cauk and keel. Nor wanting ghosts of Tory fame;
By some auld houlet-haunted biggin, Bold Scrimgeour (257) follows gallant Gra- Or kirk deserted by its riggin, hame=(258)
It's ten to ane ye'll find him snug in Auld Covenanters shiver
Some eldritch part, (Forgive, forgive, much-wrongd Montrose! Wi' deils, they say, Lord save's ! colleaguin' While death and hell engulf thy foes,
At some black art. Thou liv'st on high for ever!)
Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or chaumer, Still o'er the field the combat burns;
Ye gipsey-gang that deal in glamour, The Tories, Whigs, give way by turns;
And you, deep-read in hell's black grammar, But fate the word has spoken--
Warlocks and witches; For woman's wit, or strength of man,
Ye'll quake at his conjuring hammer, Alas! can do but what they can
Ye midnight bitches. The Tory ranks are broken !
It's tauld he was a sodger bred, Oh that my e’en were flowing burns !
And ane wad rather fa'n than fled My voice a lioness that mourns
But now he's quat the spurtle blade, Her darling cub's undoing!
And dog skin wallet, That I might greet, that I might cry,
And ta'en the-Antiquarian trade, While Tories fall, while Tories fly,
I think they call it. And furious Whigs pursuing!
He has a fouth o auld nick-nackets, What Whig but wails the good Sir James; Rusty aird caps and jinglin' jackets,
Wad haud the Lotliians three in tackets, Dear to his country by the names
A towmont guid;
And parritch-pats, and auld saut-backets,
Before the Flood.
Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder;
Auld Tubalcain's tire-sliool and fender: Thou, Pitt, shall rue this overthrow, And Thurlow growl a curse of woe,
That which distinguished the gender
O' Balaam's ass ; And Melville melt in wailing!
A broom-stick o' the witch of Endor,
Veel shod wi' brass,
Forbye, he'll shape you aff, fu' gleg,
The cut of Adam's philabeg ;
The kuife that nicket Abel's craig,
He'll prove you fully, So when the storm the forest rends,
It was a faulding jocteleg,
Or lang-kail gully.
But wad ye see him in his glee,
Guid fellows wi' him.
And then ye'll see him;
ANTIQUITIES OF THAT KINGDOM. (259) Now, by the pow'rs o' verse and prose!
Thou art a dainty chiel, oh Grose !
Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose, If there's a hole in a' your coats,
They sair misca' thee;
I'd take the rascal by the nose,
shame fa' thee And, faith, he'll prent it.